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Add the Words Protesters Prepared for Legal Troubles

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Long before their arrests, activists seeking to add discrimination protections for gays and lesbians in Idaho’s Human Rights Act added lawyers. The 44 people now facing trespassing charges after Monday’s demonstration inside the Capitol’s Senate chambers have been promised pro-bono help. Boise defense attorney Dan Skinner learned of the protest weeks ago from a client on another matter. Given mass arrest seemed likely, Skinner offered assistance — and began an informal call for additional attorneys. Ten signed up, so far. Skinner calls this a clear legal issue: Gays and lesbians aren’t being afforded equal protections provided others by Idaho law. Lawyers even advised some people not to participate, given delicate legal histories. Lee Taylor, a 74-year-old arrestee and Skinner’s client, vowed to fight charges punishable by jail and a fine.

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